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Difficult to Wear

A Review On: Shure SE425 Earphone

Shure SE425 Earphone

Rated # 29 in Universal Fit
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Pros: Great sound, Great brand and customer service

Cons: The fit will give you fits. Lacks comfort.

I got my pairs (plural) because my last pair of tried and trusty EC-4s bit the dust.. losing the left channel as they tend to do over 3 or 4 years.  In the past, I'd send $100 dollars and the EC-4s to Shure, who'd fix them and send them back.  Good to go.


Unfortunately, Shure has end-of-lifed the EC-4s.  Boo!  So rather than fixing them, they replaced them with two brand new pairs of SE425's-- right off the store shelves.  Impressive that Shure backs their gear as well as they do, it says a lot about the company's integrity.  


So now I'm left with two brand-new pair of SE425's.  They are VERY different from the EC-4s, and not in a good way.


But let's not go all negative-- the new cable design is terrific.  I like that the cables now break away at the earbud.  Hopefully this will eliminate the left channel issue of the EC-4s (losing contact after a few years due to stress on the cable).  The shape is cleaner and more attractive, but this leads to a huge problem in fit, which is where these headphones fall apart.


I started by trying the foam earpieces that come attached to the earbuds.  They didn't get in far enough and the bass was missing-- so I switched to the rubber-- same issue-- the sound was tinny.  Went for the yellow foam-- this was what I used on the EC-4s.  Nope-- no luck.  So I read the head-fi reviews here and someone suggested the white triple tips as the only tip that worked for them-- and that is true-- the second I put the white-triple tips in-- the sound was there.  


Full, rich, detailed sound, just like the old EC-4s.  The problem is that the white triple tips are about an inch long and give the feeling like you're being ear-raped.  Yes-- ear rape!  Like-- is this thing going to hit my ear drum?  It's not- but it's a totally uncomfortable situation.   Shure will put Q-Tips out of business!  I can't imagine wearing these for any long-term listening.


Sound isolation?  Hell yes-- with this much rubber in your ear-- how can you not get great isolation?  Jeech.  


Like the EC-4's there's very good mid-range (maybe a bit too much)-- natural articulate bass-- and slightly rolled off upper frequencies-- no sibilance.  The sound isn't bright, but complete.  Great soundstage.  Wide-- nice for an in-ear.  


But if you're buying a $300 dollar pair of buds-- get a pair that won't rape your ears.  Seriously.




Don't give up yet .....
Grab the triple flanges, and cut off the top flange - no more issue with comfort. Also try using the larger size olives. I always wore mediums when I had the SE420. For the SE425 and now SE535 I simply use the large olives. The insertion is shallower, but the isolation is still complete, and the comfort is wonderful. Hope this helps.
You could try making the white-triple tips soft by putting it on hot water and making it a little bit wet when inserting it in your ear. Thats what I always do. Cool review by the way.
I will give the larger olives a go, but as for putting water on the tips-- KorkiPoo, I gotta say, it sounds like I'd be getting a wet willy, in addition to my ear rape! Oy! I'm trying out Sennheiser's i.e. 6 for now... Will review later.
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